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Worth Reading: 08/03/12

Because we've all been waiting for an incredibly difficult unicorn walking simulator to enter our lives.

Yeah, yeah, I'll be going on at least one LOST tour while walking around in Hawaii later this month.

Hard to believe I’ll be married a week from now, and it’s why Worth Reading will have a two-week hiatus. I’ll still be filing a few stories for Giant Bomb next week (including a big one about Darksiders) while preparing for the wedding that’s nearly planned, but the big day is on Friday, and I’ll be spending the week after in Hawaii.

(If you have any last-minute recommendations on things to do there, now’s the time to let me know!)

For whatever reason, my saved game for The Walking Dead hasn’t uploaded to PlayStation Plus’ cloud saves (I'm on a friend's machine), so I haven’t seen the conclusion of episode two yet.

Instead, as I mentioned last week, I’ve been pushing forward in Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath, and I finally saw the “twist.” The twist itself? Overrated but understandably noteworthy for the time period, and admittedly I still didn’t see it coming. Unfortunately, the twist did nothing to stop Stranger’s Wrath from quickly pivoting to a Rambo-style shoot out for the remainder of the game. Though combat is the focus of Stranger’s Wrath, it’s a combat that encourages tactical, strategic play with the creative ammo types, and that mostly goes out the window in the last few hours. Instead, it’s just blowing dudes up, and while I understand the tonal shift behind that move, it’s simply not very fun. Bummer.

So many games seem to fall prey to his problem, and I wonder why that is. Maybe I should interview some developers about that, eh?

See you guys in a few weeks!

Hey, You Should Play This

  • CLOP (Browser, Free) by Bennett Foddy

If CLOP sounds familiar, it’s because it sounds awfully similar to QWOP, another game by torturous designer Bennet Foddy. QWOP tasked players with manipulating the thighs and calves of an Olympic athlete, an objective much more difficult than it sounds. There’s a reason the game warns you QWOP is not about winning or losing, and that’s a sentiment shared with CLOP, as well. CLOP is fundamentally similar to QWOP, except that players are now trying to move all four legs of a unicorn back and forth, in the hopes of reaching a fair maiden on the other side of the hill.

Good luck?

And You Should Read These

As someone who expects they’ll be writing about video games for some years to come, it’s difficult to imagine what that life will be like when I’m in my 30s and 40s, and how others around me will perceive that decision. There are very few games writers within that age range, especially ones that have stayed in games writing. Keith Stuart is one of them, though, and his piece brings me comfort. It’s not uncommon for games writers to explain their career decisions to non-games folk, and I can’t imagine that gets easier as you get older. As he rightly points out, it’s not a problem with critics in other fields, and as video games continue to become ingrained in our culture, it will cease being a worrying question mark.

I am aware, when I go on press trips now, that I am old enough to be the father of some of the other journalists I am with. I mean, that can’t be right. Increasingly often I reference games they never played, or that exist for them as dim childhood memories. I am ancient enough to remember playing games in black and white, on old Grandstand consoles; I played Pac-Man in a Blackpool arcade when it first arrived in Britain; I even remember when Sega was a serious force in the industry. That stuff makes me feel like Rutger Hauer as the majestic yet dying replicant in Bladerunner – I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. And I have, and they are part of me.

It’s still early enough in Kickstarter’s life that anything taking off generates headlines, but we’re also in the phase where pitches, especially ambitious ones like Ouya, are under intense scrutiny. Academic Ian Bogost has tried to re-frame the reasoning behind Kickstarter excitement, and one that might help explain why so many critics have trouble giving the thumbs up to so many projects on Kickstarter, yet players have no trouble opening up their wallets and saying “hell yes.” In short, Bogost believes individuals want to be one the ground floor of A Good Idea, and tell friends they were their first, and helped make it happen. That Kickstarter donations don’t usually require much money makes the impulse to be part of a potentially (potentially) market-changing idea all the more appealing.

Kickstarters are dreams, and that's their strength rather than their weakness. People back projects on Kickstarter to fund the development of a new creative work or a consumer product that might never see the light of day via traditional financing. But what if Kickstarter is more about the experience of kickstarting than it is about the finished products? When you fund something like OUYA, you're not pre-ordering a new console that will be made and marketed, you're buying a ticket on the ride, reserving a front-row seat to the process and endorsing an idea. It's a Like button attached to your wallet.

If You Click This, It Will Play

I Don’t Know About This Kickstarter Thing, But These Projects Look Neat

Oh, And This Other Stuff

Patrick Klepek on Google+
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Posted by patrickklepek
Yeah, yeah, I'll be going on at least one LOST tour while walking around in Hawaii later this month.

Hard to believe I’ll be married a week from now, and it’s why Worth Reading will have a two-week hiatus. I’ll still be filing a few stories for Giant Bomb next week (including a big one about Darksiders) while preparing for the wedding that’s nearly planned, but the big day is on Friday, and I’ll be spending the week after in Hawaii.

(If you have any last-minute recommendations on things to do there, now’s the time to let me know!)

For whatever reason, my saved game for The Walking Dead hasn’t uploaded to PlayStation Plus’ cloud saves (I'm on a friend's machine), so I haven’t seen the conclusion of episode two yet.

Instead, as I mentioned last week, I’ve been pushing forward in Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath, and I finally saw the “twist.” The twist itself? Overrated but understandably noteworthy for the time period, and admittedly I still didn’t see it coming. Unfortunately, the twist did nothing to stop Stranger’s Wrath from quickly pivoting to a Rambo-style shoot out for the remainder of the game. Though combat is the focus of Stranger’s Wrath, it’s a combat that encourages tactical, strategic play with the creative ammo types, and that mostly goes out the window in the last few hours. Instead, it’s just blowing dudes up, and while I understand the tonal shift behind that move, it’s simply not very fun. Bummer.

So many games seem to fall prey to his problem, and I wonder why that is. Maybe I should interview some developers about that, eh?

See you guys in a few weeks!

Hey, You Should Play This

  • CLOP (Browser, Free) by Bennett Foddy

If CLOP sounds familiar, it’s because it sounds awfully similar to QWOP, another game by torturous designer Bennet Foddy. QWOP tasked players with manipulating the thighs and calves of an Olympic athlete, an objective much more difficult than it sounds. There’s a reason the game warns you QWOP is not about winning or losing, and that’s a sentiment shared with CLOP, as well. CLOP is fundamentally similar to QWOP, except that players are now trying to move all four legs of a unicorn back and forth, in the hopes of reaching a fair maiden on the other side of the hill.

Good luck?

And You Should Read These

As someone who expects they’ll be writing about video games for some years to come, it’s difficult to imagine what that life will be like when I’m in my 30s and 40s, and how others around me will perceive that decision. There are very few games writers within that age range, especially ones that have stayed in games writing. Keith Stuart is one of them, though, and his piece brings me comfort. It’s not uncommon for games writers to explain their career decisions to non-games folk, and I can’t imagine that gets easier as you get older. As he rightly points out, it’s not a problem with critics in other fields, and as video games continue to become ingrained in our culture, it will cease being a worrying question mark.

I am aware, when I go on press trips now, that I am old enough to be the father of some of the other journalists I am with. I mean, that can’t be right. Increasingly often I reference games they never played, or that exist for them as dim childhood memories. I am ancient enough to remember playing games in black and white, on old Grandstand consoles; I played Pac-Man in a Blackpool arcade when it first arrived in Britain; I even remember when Sega was a serious force in the industry. That stuff makes me feel like Rutger Hauer as the majestic yet dying replicant in Bladerunner – I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. And I have, and they are part of me.

It’s still early enough in Kickstarter’s life that anything taking off generates headlines, but we’re also in the phase where pitches, especially ambitious ones like Ouya, are under intense scrutiny. Academic Ian Bogost has tried to re-frame the reasoning behind Kickstarter excitement, and one that might help explain why so many critics have trouble giving the thumbs up to so many projects on Kickstarter, yet players have no trouble opening up their wallets and saying “hell yes.” In short, Bogost believes individuals want to be one the ground floor of A Good Idea, and tell friends they were their first, and helped make it happen. That Kickstarter donations don’t usually require much money makes the impulse to be part of a potentially (potentially) market-changing idea all the more appealing.

Kickstarters are dreams, and that's their strength rather than their weakness. People back projects on Kickstarter to fund the development of a new creative work or a consumer product that might never see the light of day via traditional financing. But what if Kickstarter is more about the experience of kickstarting than it is about the finished products? When you fund something like OUYA, you're not pre-ordering a new console that will be made and marketed, you're buying a ticket on the ride, reserving a front-row seat to the process and endorsing an idea. It's a Like button attached to your wallet.

If You Click This, It Will Play

I Don’t Know About This Kickstarter Thing, But These Projects Look Neat

Oh, And This Other Stuff

Staff
Posted by rjayb89

Dat Locke.

Posted by chilibean_3

I found that if you spam only one of the front legs you can get it going pretty well. I didn't have time to finish it though so I'll need to do a follow up test later this evening.

Posted by ObiKwiet

Good read as always, thanks Patrick.

Posted by Typographenia

You had better enjoy that LOST tour. And the honeymoon too, I guess. : P

Posted by DazzHardy

Saw the picture of Joe White and immediately started humming the Hawaii Five-0 theme only to read Tricky was gonna be honeymooning in said Hawaii.

Posted by AuthenticM

Here's what you need to do while in Hawaii:

get laid.

Posted by hanktherapper

Congrats on the wedding.

Posted by zeekthegeek

That Zynga article reads like propaganda on behalf of the company. Kotaku continues to be unadulterated garbage.

Posted by Qlanth

I was just playing CLOP this afternoon. What a fun little game

Posted by sissylion

@AuthenticM said:

Here's what you need to do while in Hawaii:

get laid.

Yo bro! Let's go!

Posted by CilliaBlack

I wish he hadn't posted that Interview video. Don't give that company's shitty self-pandering hypocritical awful meme-filled crap any extra views.

Posted by Moncole

Patrick sure browses Reddit a lot. I wonder what his username is.

Posted by Lunar_Aura

fuck CLOP that game is an asshole

Edited by patrickklepek

@Moncole said:

Patrick sure browses Reddit a lot. I wonder what his username is.

I actually don't, but my user name is patrickklepek on there, if you want to check! I browse the image section of gaming a few times a week for laughs.

Staff
Posted by Xeirus

@patrickklepek said:

@Moncole said:

Patrick sure browses Reddit a lot. I wonder what his username is.

I actually don't, but my user name is patrickklepek on there, if you want to check! I check the image section of gaming a few times a week for laughs.

Oh you didn't know Patrick? Anything posted 2nd on the internet is taken from reddit, derpa!

Online
Posted by Trevorisamazing

A game about cartoonish horses called "CLOP" brought some terrible thoughts to mind that were quickly assuaged. Thank god.

Posted by BadSniper52

great stories Pat!

Edited by mrfluke

kinda surprised you didnt mention the oculus rift in your kickstarter section,

regardless great read as usual scoopz man, hope your wedding goes well

Posted by Jayzilla

This is quickly becoming my favorite part of GB. Thanks, Tricky!

Posted by WarlordPayne

I love the last line of the Mass Effect 2 article: "'Mass Effect' taught me to like trouble."

It seems so appropriate with how much ass kicking Shepard does.

Posted by Phatmac

Wow one week away huh? Well, congrats Klepek! Have a safe and happy honeymoon! Don't think about Lost too much now!

Posted by Bakumatsu

Good luck Patrick. Have a great wedding. Funny thing I'm also getting married but in the next month (September 23rd to be exact) and despite still having time untill then and already living with my fiancée, I'm pretty nervous...Only a month away... AHHHHHH!!!!!

Posted by DanteFaustEsq

Well, I know where a portion of my next paycheck's money is going to, I'm intrigued by Gaymercon it's relevant to my interests.

Edited by MarkWahlberg

@AuthenticM said:

Here's what you need to do while in Hawaii:

get laid.

I hear if you ask people in Hawaii where they filmed LOST, they get really excited and show you around and then they take you to awesome parties where you can make sex.

Posted by Goblin

I wasn't waiting for an incredibly difficult unicorn walking simulator... because I've already played one!

Twilight vs Walking

That CLOP one is fun too, though.

Posted by jackDanger

Depends on where in Hawaii you're at, Patrick. I was in Maui a few months ago...it's great.

Edited by MooseyMcMan

Hope the wedding is a fun time, Patrick. Congrats!

Moderator
Posted by ghostNPC

A Mother's Inferno. Wow. Potential out the wazzo

Posted by Brodehouse

2K guy is wrong. You don't actually need a human face to create drama, or emotions. Pixar has succeeded at exactly that for 20 years without photorealism. Books have done it for longer.

Posted by RetroVirus

Good luck with the wedding, Patrick! Check out the Dole Plantation if that's not already on the list.

Posted by Darkstorn

Have a super memorable wedding Patrick, even if that's a given! Great writeup too!

Posted by Scrawnto

Dude, CLOP is awesome! I've nearly made it to the halfway point.

Posted by Darkstorn

Have a super memorable wedding Patrick, even if that's a given! Great writeup too!

Posted by bunnymud

Played A Mothers Inferno....couldn't get past the swan sock pupppet thing with the sexing zombies looking on

Posted by Prestige

I'm assuming Patrick's staying on Oahu, since that's the only island that could plausibly host a Lost tour. I live on Oahu, but I just stay inside all day watching videos of people playing video games, so I can't say I have great recommendations of places to visit. But I'm sure Patrick's the kind of guy who will stay away from the boring tourist trap shit and self-direct his own explorations.

Posted by Gorehorn

@MarkWahlberg said:

@AuthenticM said:

Here's what you need to do while in Hawaii:

get laid.

I hear if you ask people in Hawaii where they filmed LOST, they get really excited and show you around and then they take you to awesome parties where you can make sex.

Well, it's his honeymoon so that part should be taken care of from the start. ;)

Best of luck to the two of you!

Posted by probablytuna

It's nice to see Edge going back and "review" their past reviews. Reviews made in the present are not absolute and games will almost always be judged in hindsight whether it be better or worse. I'd like to see video game websites or publications do this more often and go back to their reviews and see if they agree with the initial score.

Posted by Ariketh

Clop really seems like the controls are far too loose and floaty. But I guess that's why it's free.

Good luck with your wedding.

Posted by iam3green

well congrats on the wedding. i hope you have fun at the wedding and the honeymoon.

Posted by nervesnormal

If I went to Hawaii I would almost definitely visit a volcano.

Chuck a rock in it or something.

Posted by Hailinel

Nice write-up, Patrick. I hope your wedding goes well, and have a great honeymoon!

Posted by j3ffro919

Which island? I assume Maui, Kawaii or Oahu (much more common honeymoon spots) but if it is by chance the Big Island I'd strongly recommend South Point, Kilauea (the active volcano) and Mauna Kea. Do not miss Waipio Valley, it's worth the hike first down then back out, I proposed to my wife there - deserted black sand beach was where they filmed the end of Waterworld. Also you should head up through Kohala to Havi, there's a little spot in Havi that sells the best fudge in the world. Regardless, have a great time and congratulations, as someone who only got married a few months ago, try to relax and enjoy your day. It'll probably be the fastest day of your life.

Posted by Ronald
As someone who expects they’ll be writing about video games for some years to come, it’s difficult to imagine what that life will be like when I’m in my 30s and 40s, and how others around me will perceive that decision. There are very few games writers within that age range, especially ones that have stayed in games writing.

You could always ask the rest of the Giant Bomb staff what that is like. Jeff, Ryan and Brad are in their 30s.

Posted by CornBREDX

As usual, love all the interesting stuff you link to and discuss. 
 
I think this week the one that stood out to me the most was that interview with Gamestops CEO. That guy is a real piece of work.

Posted by ZmillA

I want an HD remake of Killer7 SO BAD. I never finished the game and since my save was overwritten I'd need to start over if I wanted to play again.

Posted by stise

Great piece as usual Patrick, although your bit about Stranger's Wrath has reminded me how much I dislike the adjectives 'overrated' and 'underrated'. They don't actually describe anything, they just orient you on the spectrum of popular opinion. Surely there are more honest, useful discussions to be had.

Posted by Deusoma

I was into the idea of Balance of the Planet until the part where three of the four central factors you get graded on don't matter at all in the context of an ecologically-minded Earth simulator.

Edited by Forum_User

Kid says, "What the fuck do I need you for you?" Well, that was unexpected. : D

Also, "gaymer" is quite possibly the dumbest word ever. For starters, it sounds just like "gamer" when spoken...or, at least, I assume it does, and of course we know that "gamer" is already pretty dumb to begin with, but I guess we're stuck with it.

Posted by Scad

My wife and I honeymooned in Hawaii as well and went to see 'The Others' Village' which is actually a YMCA camp, the beach right across from it where they shot the pilot, and the waterfall/pond where Kate and Sawyer found the briefcase (it's open to the public, so it's not quite as serene.) They're all on the north shore of Oahu, only several miles from one another. I would also recommend taking a helicopter ride while listening to the Jurassic Park theme. ;)

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